Cultural determinants of status: Implications for workplace evaluations and behaviors

Carlos J. Torelli, Lisa M. Leslie, Jennifer L. Stoner, Raquel Puente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Status is a valued workplace resource that facilitates career success, yet little is known regarding whether and how cultural orientation affects status attainment. We integrate status characteristics theory with the literature on individualism and collectivism and propose a cultural patterning in the determinants of status. Four studies (N= 379) demonstrate that cultural orientation influences the tendency to view high status individuals as competent versus warm (Study 1), uncover cultural differences in both individuals' tendency to engage in competence and warmth behaviors to attain workplace status (Study 2) and evaluators' tendency to ascribe status to individuals who demonstrate competence versus warmth (Study 3), and verify that cultural differences in the effects of competence and warmth on status perceptions, and in turn performance evaluations, generalize to real world interdependent groups (Study 4). Our findings advance theory on the cultural contingencies of status attainment and have implications for managing diversity at work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-48
Number of pages15
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Competence
  • Culture
  • Individualism and collectivism
  • Social hierarchy
  • Status
  • Status characteristics theory
  • Warmth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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